Currently, I am working on a novel. While it is being labored over, I would like to share a very short excerpt with you, in an effort to sort of get the ball rolling. A separate short story is also completed and may be posted at a later time while another is in the works.
You could say that this book is about the quest to save one’s humanity and the consequences we face, though at heart it is a simple tale of life circular. A story of the relationship between man & creature.
“Evil coming,” Birdie whispered to no one in particular and there was no response. He saw the men lift bottles to their faces, saw a shadow run from a home opposite. The Mexicans stopped as one on his animal leaped forward to catch the man or the woman, the child could not know from the shape, and the rider slung his bottle at the back of the shadow’s head.
It let out a faint scream before falling into the dirt. The man jumped from the horse with the half broken slab in his hand and he began stabbing while the screams echoed until the sound had faded, the Mexican kicking at the thing to make sure of its death. He walked to the older and looked down.
“You see my face, old man?” but he neither spoke nor moved.
The Mexican returned to his horse without the slab and he wiped the side of his face with a sleeve before addressing the others.
“Boss says we go back ahead north. Burn everything. Destroy everyone.”
They hollered again and cheered again with loud, foreign tongues and some pranced in circles with bottles once more to their faces while others grinned or reloaded their shooters yet still more cursed and sang tunes inaudible.
“And the boy?” asked another.
“Keep north. All he says,” The Mexican replied. He turned from the group and disappeared as they followed suit until it was silent again and again the child saw upon the earth only fire and hell and smoke that clotted the face of the moon.
Birdie and Floyd took their horses when all had gone though they did not exchange words nor glances. They passed the old man in the street who was black from the night. He did not move. They reached the shadow and stepped over it one after another without the need for setting sight upon it’s soul, the truth in their minds that it was dead and had been dead as they knew others were and would be too. Floyd thought of this place as satanic and it would always be so. He thought of the child and the boy’s life as Birdie spit out into the breeze and Floyd regretted that the child likely would feel the same or that the kid felt the same already, that this was and always would be a pagan ritual, a land of paynims and heathens.
They rode towards Santa Fe, through towns more splintered, more burned, passed others stripped of barbarous roots and villainous stature. Those they saw were beautiful in their colors with strange looks given upon the two whites, all defensive but without confrontation. They had savage eyes, the lot, few black and few emotionless, each crossing into territory unknown but knowing their reasons while perhaps knowing their fate. For moments they are one and the same, human and monster alike, children and men suffering by lack of repentance. They are Godless, all. To survive, it is their way.